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Date News Posted: November 17, 2010

Well it is almost Thanksgiving 2011, Oh my, where does time go?

This week we have some great music to tell you about, real “Classic Country” music that we added more CDs to this week in our catalog.

Now growing up it was the music we loved of course but the music was not 100% the reason we bought the album, it was in part the great stories on the backs of those albums, those stories told us a lot about the artist, what he had been doing and sometimes a few personal things about him or her that we had never heard before, there were two things I took real good care of, my country albums and my dog.

Anyway cassette albums came along and there was barely room for the song titles let alone a story, and noticed I jumped right over the 8 tracks they were a disaster as far as I was concerned especially on the last song on the “A” side when it played half the song then jumped to the “B” side for the other half of the song, that was a case of bad engineering.

Then came the CD which was and is a great music media but most still tell no story on the back, just song titles and a little other hocus=pocus that don’t mean a heck of a lot to anyone, but anyway the fronts usually have a nice picture.

As they say those words on TV>>>BUT WAIT!!!! There is something more and that is the Gusto/King collection of some of the greatest country artist that ever lived. 99% of the backs of all their CDs have some great stories about that artist, many also have facts about the artist you have wondered about like where he or she was born or passed away and when and how they got into the business and just in general, some good stuff and some we will be copying word for word from the backs of these great CDs.

Now mind you the liner notes (back covers) that I quote here “I did not write them” they are straight from the Gusto/King “Classic” CDs and I am pretty sure you will enjoy reading them and you will really enjoy having them in your collection if you don’t already.

First I want to tell you about an album from Jack Greene, it is a gospel album and it has 20 songs on it.  It is a great album and I would never criticize any part of it but there is one thing I would do>>I would remove the 18th song on this album, make it into a single and send it to every radio station in the world that calls them self a “Country” or “Gospel” station. It is my humble opinion that after 50 plus years in the Country music business this is a stone-bone smash hit.  The song is called “This One Belongs To Me” I do not know when it was first recorded and that matters not anyway, what matters is how it grabs you today, right now, and if your heart is still beating I can promise you it will choke you up and light up your heart. This is a great well done song by one of the best, Mr. Jack Greene.

There is a great long story on the back of this Gusto CD about Jack, we are just going to give you a small part of it remember these next words are from (Gusto Records).

Jack Greene is listed among Billboard magazine’s top 100 most played recording artist over the last 40 years.  That comes as no surprise, considering the fact that Jack has 2 # 1 selling albums to his credit and 9 # 1 hits.

Affectionately known as the “Jolly Green Giant”. Jack was born in Maryville, Tn. on January the 7th. 1930.  Jack served in the Army from 1950 to 1952 and after his discharge he played drums for the one and only, Mr. Ernest Tubb.

OK now, there is much more to this story on the flip side of this CD which will tell you even more about Jack Greene, but above all don’t forget this great song by Jack called “This One Belongs To Me” it is a hit.

Some artists their name is in your mind from the first time you hear them ‘till the lid shuts, this is not one of them.  WHY? I don’t know, Carl Belew was a great artist, a great song writer and by all accounts a great guy but he was never a household name, and I don’t know why to that either.

I know you remember these Carl Belew songs, “Am I That Easy To Forget” or maybe “Crystal Chandeliers” or how about this one. ‘Stop The World” (and let me off) and another of Carl’s song that went to number one for Eddy Arnold called, “What’s He Doing In My World” and another Belew song that was one of my favorites called “Hello Out There”.   But still the name of Carl Belew is all but forgotten on the radio stations now days, come to think of it, so are a lot of the other Classic artist of our time and I sure think a lot of this generation’s young people are missing something.

Here is a little bit of the Gusto story:

Carl Belew was born on April the 21st 1931 in Salina, Oklahoma.  Like many artist of his day Carl was drawn to “Rock-A-Billy” music.  Carl made appearances on the Louisiana Hayride in 1957, His recording career began on Four Star Records.

Carl’s first two success stories came from his song writing in 1958 Johnnie and Jack scored with Carl’s “Stop The World” and in 1959 Andy Williams hit a lick with Carl’s “Lonely Street”

Both songs won Carl BMI awards.

Carl Belew passed away on October the 31st.1990 at the early age of 59.  And no, to those who knew and loved Carl’s music he will never be that easy to forget.

March the 3rd 1963, can you believe it has been that long, 47 years since the sad news came over your radio that Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins and all gone down in a plane crash?

This is a 40th year anniversary CD and contains songs by all three of these Classic artist songs like “Walkin’ After Midnight” Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw’s biggest hit which he never lived to see and Cowboy Copas with his signature song “Alabam”.  I remember like yesterday, we lived in Denver at the time and on my way home from the Lincoln dealer, on the radio came “Lonesome 7-7203, I did a U turn then and there and headed back to town and the record shop which the man said they had just received the shipment that day with Hawk’s record in the lot, I said, well, gimmie one and I will be on my way, and he did and I paid him 49 cents and I was on my way home. What a great song that Justin Tubb had written and Hawkshaw Hawkins clicked like a big Ben clock with that song.

“Signed, Sealed and Delivered” was a monster hit for Copas and I think the whole world of country music lovers are still thinking Patsy Cline will record again, wellllllllll, maybe not.

And as Gusto ?King writes on their flip side of the box, like I said it was March the 3rd 1963 in Kansas City, Kansas. A memorial service was being held for a local DJ by the name of “Cactus” Jack Call who had been killed in an auto accident, Randy Hughes Patsy’s manager had flown her to the event in his Piper Comanche, the flight back was to include, Patsy, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins.  The next day Monday the weather was too bad to fly so they all stayed in Kansas City, on Tuesday the weather seemed better so they checked out of the motel and took off at 1:30 pm, but the weather was still bad all the way to Tennessee.  In Dyersburg Randy refueled the plane and called home, he was certain the storm was behind them.  On March the 5th 1963 at approximately 6:20 am the plane went down in a storm that Randy thought was behind them.  All four were lost in that last journey home.

There is a mixture of ten songs on this great memorial album from Patsy, Hawk and Cowboy.

Tommy Collins was well known in Bakersfield, I guess he wrote about as many songs to make you laugh or smile as he did serious songs, his friend Merle Haggard recorded 22 of Tommy songs.

Probably the song folks remember most from Tommy was “You Gotta Have A License” but the two that we have received the most request for is “Cigarette Milner” and “Opal, You Ask Me”.  Now if you haven’t heard either one of these last two songs you would have to hear them from start to end to really get the story.

From Gusto comes, Tommy Collins birth name was Leonard Raymond Sipes. He was born on September the 28th 1930 in Bethany, Oklahoma.

It was his good friend Ferlin Husky that helped Leonard get his first recording contract and also came up with the stage name of Tommy Collins which came from a Tom Collins cocktail.  “If You Ain’t Lovin’, You Ain’t Livin” was a # 2 song for Faron Young in 1955 and George Strait  took the Collins song to # 1 in 1988.

Tommy was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame in 1999 and the following year on March the 14th. 2000 Tommy Collins passed away.  Well Leonard gave me lots of inspiration; he helped teach me how to write a country song, and even brought me a bag of groceries, back before “Muskogee” came along  (Merle Haggard).

There are ten great songs on this Tommy Collins CD.

There are two hundred sixteen smiles on this album.  A good laugh or two.  Six that you will have to play a couple times to see if you heard what you thought you heard.  And one that you won’t have to do no figgerin’ on The Okie from Muskogee.

This was Tommy Collins

Now here is a CD with the soft touch of a Teddy Bear, in fact that’s what it’s called “The Teddy Bear Song” and the singer? Pretty Barbara Fairchild.

Barbara was born November the 12th 1950 in Lafe, Arkansas she had 13 songs in the National charts and “Teddy Bear” was a number one song January the 27th 1973.

Barbara’s talents emerged early in her life. She recorded her first single at age 15. The childhood prodigy then made appearances on TV and showcased her talents as a singer and guitarist.

After she graduated from high school, Barbara headed to Nashville with a friend and they pitched some songs she had written.

Barbara’s efforts landed her a job with MCA as a staff writer & it wasn’t long before it leads to a recording contract with Columbia Records.

The list goes on with good things for Barbara and some of her best are on this CD, like the title song, Kid Stuff, Baby Doll and 7 more for a total of ten great songs from Barbara Fairchild.

One round thin quarter is not worth much these days, it won’t buy you a cup of coffee, it won’t buy you a piece of pie, it won’t buy you a coke or a box of popcorn and it sure won’t get you into the movie show.

But in the great 50s years I use to go to the little bakery owned by a man named Mr. Cotton after Dad had moved us to Indiana, and get a half dozen big fat juicy glazed donuts and a pecan pie for Mom and have a little change back from a half dollar, fifty cents, two quarters, man you could smell that bakery for a country mile cookin’ that fresh bread, pie crust and most of all them donuts.

On the weekend (“if”) the trash was out and the yard was mowed, Dad would flip us a quarter, (my brother and me) and we would walk to the movie house three or four miles away.

Some of the younger boys waiting for a ticket in front of the ticket booth wore guns, some also wore hats, some white, some black but there wasn’t none that  rode a horse, if those boys had any ammo it was in their shirt pocket in the form of a 5 cent roll of caps.

Anyway that quarter got us in it also bought us a bag of popcorn and a cup of ice cold soda pop, some times you don’t recognize heaven when you get there.

The lights went out, the screen let up, the music started and it was show time.  No need to tell you who the cowboy was that would ride the silver screen that day, if you want to know that then break out that great record by the Statler Brothers of “What Ever Happened To Randolph Scott” and you’ll get the picture.  The cowboy that rode the silver screen that day might have gone on to become a great business man, a great hero to a lot of kids, the owner of a TV station and even the owner of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team and then that cowboy who’s statue still stands in front of a world class museum that holds his name, Mr. Gene Autry.

Gene was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1969 (and oh yes, I forgot the fact that Gene was and probably still is one of the best known cowboy singers that ever lived.

And this Gusto/King CD is going to bring back some of those Gene Autry memories for ye right now.   First up on this album is one that someday I am going to research how many people recorded this song, none do it any better then ole Gene called “That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine” and next comes not only a song title but a phrase that has been used by about everyone that has ever heard it called “I’m Back In The Saddle Again” one of my favorites Gene sang not only for his movie but was a great old 78 rpm record called “Mexicali Rose” now re-mastered in this great CD.

Another one in this collection that brought some tears in those days gone by was this classic from Gene called “At Mail Call Today” and one more that we will mention is “I’m Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes”.  “This Hall Of Fame” CD contains 10 of some of Gene Autry’s best.

On our wall is a poster painting of the last five of the singing cowboys all signed by each and in a frame for all to see of Gene Autry, Eddie Dean, Rex Allen, Monte Hale and Roy Rogers.

All of which now reside in Cowboy Heaven.

Here is a Kentucky gal for ye: Skeeter Davis. There was a time when about every “Country” music station in the good ole U.S of A was playing a Skeeter Davis record and chances are it was “The End Of The World” or “I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know” songs that if you lived during those years you will remember ‘till the curtain falls.

The oldest of seven children, Skeeter was born Mary Francis Penick  in a log cabin near Glencoe. Kentucky on December 30th 1931.

Her Grandfather nicknamed her Skeeter because she was always buzzing from place to place like a mosquito.  In high school Skeeter and her friend Betty Jack Davis formed a duo called The Davis Sisters, they started building a name for themselves and eventually recorded a song that was a number one hit for the duo called “I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know” that was in 1953.

Sadly that same year they were involved in a tragic auto accident that killed Betty and seriously injured Skeeter.  In 1959 Skeeter became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and remained a member for the rest of her life.  Some of Skeeter’s last appearances can still be seen on a show hosted by Bill Anderson on RFD-TV called Family Reunion.

(AND by the way, if you do not have RFD-TV on your TV lineup then you are missing some of the best of the best of Classic Country Music)

This Skeeter Davis CD contains ten of Skeeter’s best.  The CD is called “End of the World”

Other then what is on these great liner notes from Gusto Records, what in the world can be said about Lefty Frizzell that hasn’t been said.

I know my old partner at the Americana Agency in Hollywood was Lefty’s manager and agent for several years.  I probably told this story before but I might as well tell it again because I got nothing better to do.

Steve Stebbins who started Americana back in 1948 with Cliffie Stone and Tennessee Ernie would sometime haul his biggest artists around to their shows himself and sometimes into Arizona since the Phoenix area at the time was a” Big Time” country music area.

Anyway since Lefty was such a big star at the time when Steve would pull into a motel for the night he would get two rooms and he would sign the register with Lefty in one him (Steve) in the other then switch rooms, otherwise Lefty’s phone would ring all night despite the fact that Steve had laid another five bucks on the desk clerk to say they could not put the caller through to Lefty.  But fans, women and the press knew he was there and laid even more money on the clerk to put them through to Lefty’s room which was now Steve’s room, the one thing they didn’t tell the desk clerk was that they had switched.

Anyway, Gruff talkin’ cigar smokin’ Steve would be layin’ there reading a book when the phone would ring and a sweet voice would say, Leftyyyy and Steve would growl I don’t know no Lefty and slam down the phone.  It was on one of these trips with Lefty that after they had checked into their rooms Steve would head for the gas station to fill up and be ready to move on when the time came.

It was on one of those visits to the gas station that Steve picked up a long legged hitch-hiker on his way back to the motel, this skinny young guy who probably didn’t have enough money in his pocket to buy a cheese sandwich ended up being one of Lefty’s best friends for years to come.  We still see this (a lot more then skinny) guy now about every two weeks in our kitchen drinking coffee; he is a guy that my old friend Steve Stebbins named, Freddie Hart.

Anyway, most everyone that was ever a fan of the most unique voice to ever sing a country song knows and has collected about everything that Lefty ever recorded, but here on this as seen on TV record from Gusto/King is a 20 song collection that you can put on your CD player, lay back in your recliner with a beer or frosty glass of prune juice and “Really” enjoy the “Always Late”  sounds of the one and only Lefty Frizzell.

As Carl Malden would say, there are a million stories in the naked city; this has been one of um.

So if you are looking for a little present for a real country music lover and you can’t find anything in your local store that even comes close to Country Music you can have any of the above for nine dollars and eighty seven cents and we will pay the postage.  The credit card machine will not be working ‘till we open in Kentucky next year so send a check or get a postal money order which ever is best for you and send it with a note as to which CD you want, send it to Bradley Brother’s Records>>Box 1515>>Simi Valley>>California, 93062.

If you do not buy one thing, or want some other artist recordings that’s OK we have hundreds of others and if you are lucky enough to have a record store in your area that does sell “Real Country Music” look for the King/Gusto label on the front or the back and even if you don’t want to buy anything, take a few minutes and read the great stories on the back of these CDs.

And no, Gusto/King didn’t pay me nothing to mention their name; people don’t always have to be paid to say something nice about a company that does a great job.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I really hope your house will be filled with family and friends and don’t forget there is a lonely man or woman on a street near you that will not be sharing a meal with anyone except maybe their old dog under a cold overpass somewhere.  How much food is always left over from a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? Boy, wouldn’t that warm the heart and soul of one of our friends and wouldn’t you feel better by just saying come in stranger and welcome to our home.

I think this is my 13th year of writing all these stories and I do want to give thanks to everyone I have met along the way, to those who have sent letters and cards and emails and horseshoes and to the judges who made me an honorary Texas Ranger, for all the great and I do mean great friends I have met along the way, some were cowboys some were Indians some were actors some were just good people and all will always be a part of my heart.

Most of all I want to thank my family who at times I drove crazy playing my country records so loud that one day an old neighbor man across the street knocked on my door and said “Would you play again that 3rd song on that Hank Thompson album” you were playing yesterday. Before he died I gave him the album and bought another one for myself.

I don’t know if I will be back with a story before Christmas or not, I doubt it, so do what the doctor says if you need some doctoring, don’t be going and paying him and then come home and say that quack don’t know nothin’ anyway do the best you can.

Thank ye lord for the year of 20-ten, keep America safe and we’ll see ye later.  But just in case we don’t, take care of yourself.

Don Bradley
Country Classics



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